Matthew Dunster to Direct Almeida's BEFORE THE PARTY, March 21-May 11, 2013

Matthew Dunster to Direct Almeida's BEFORE THE PARTY, March 21-May 11, 2013

Matthew Dunster will direct Rodney Ackland's Before The Party at the Almeida from 21 March – 11 May 2013, with press night on 28 March. Based on a short story by Somerset Maugham, Before The Party has designs by Anna Fleischle with lighting by Philip Gladwell and sound by Ian Dickinson. Casting will be announced shortly.

The war is over and the Skinner family are trying to return to normal. If only the blasted Government weren't such a nuisance about the rations and Cook could get some more of those delicious delicacies. With daughter Laura returned from Africa, widowed but not alone, they prepare for the latest social gathering. Amidst the never-ending whirl of hats and dresses and below stairs skirmishes, Laura reveals a shocking secret that threatens to ruin more than one party on the climb to social success.

Director, playwright and actor Matthew Dunster's directing credits include Doctor Faustus at Shakespeare's Globe Theatre, Mogadishu for the Royal Exchange and Lyric Hammersmith and Love The Sinner for The National Theatre. His play Children's Children received its World Premiere at the Almeida earlier this year directed by Jeremy Herrin. Dunster's other writing credits include an adaptation of Saturday Night Sunday Morning for the Royal Exchange Theatre, an adaptation of Hans Christian Anderson's The Most Incredible Thing at Sadler's Wells Theatre and You Can See The Hills also for the Royal Exchange Theatre and the Young Vic.

Playwright Rodney Ackland (1908 – 1991) wrote over 40 plays, Before The Party, based on a short story by Somerset Maugham, will be his first to be performed at the Almeida. His other plays include Improper People, Birthday and The Dark River. In 1966 Anthony Page directed Judi Dench in Ackland's Absolute Hell. Ackland also adapted novels for the stage including Proust's Remembrance of Things Past (1938) and Dostoyevsky's Crime and Punishment (1946). Matthew Dunster's production of Before The Party will be the first in over 25 years.

The Almeida Theatre is located at Almeida Street, Islington, London, N1 1TA. The Almeida Cafe-Bar is open from 11.30am -11.00pm, Monday to Saturday.

Box Office Phone 020 7359 4404 (10am – 7.30pm). On line In person 10.00am – 7.30pm, Monday – Saturday. Preview prices £8 - £26, concessions available after press night price £8 - £32, concessions available. Day seats (2 per person) will go on sale at 11am on day of performance, in person from Box Office for all performances post press night. Islington First (if you live or work in Islington) £20, check box office for dates. Under 30s £16 for Monday performances.

Regular performances are Monday - Saturday at 7.30pm, Saturday matinees at 2.30pm, Press Nights at 7pm. Extra matinee Wednesday matinee performances at 2.30pm. Before the Party – 10 April and 1 May 2013. Priority Booking for Almeida Members opens on 30 October with public booking opening on 13 November 2012. Audio Described performance by VocalEyes 27 April 2013 at 2.30pm, Touch Tour at 1pm. Captioned performance 2 May 2013 at 7.30pm.

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